Caloosa Winnies of South Florida


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WIT Club Chapter of Excellence 1996-2016


March Rally 2013

Sunday, March 17, 2013, the Caloosa Winnies assembled to attend the Florida State Winnie Gators Rally, which official days were March 21 – 24 at Central Florida Fairgrounds, Orlando, FL. The Caloosas were assigned the job of parking the entire rally population. On Monday under the direction of President Pete Wightman and 1st VP David Nobert, the Caloosas assembled the crew for the first task of laying out all the fields and marking the proper sections. With help from members Bud Swift, Mike Sofarelli, Ron Kunze, Ed Thomas, Jim Rayburn, Walt Lanagan and Ron Mazuk, the layout team completed their task in just 3 hours! David and Pete did advance planning which proved to be the success of the team and which was the best parking layout ever!! 

President Corinne was busy setting up the vendor building booths with the help of several volunteers, Carol Mazuk, Carolyn Thomas, Don Levine, Bud Swift, Ron & Betty Kunze, Doris Palmer and the others who helped set up and move tables! Monday evening found the group partaking in Happy Hour and enjoying the satisfaction of being organized! 

Tuesday the gates were opened early since the Greeters, (Funtime Travelers) were also ready to admit motorhomes! THANKS to Winnie Gators officers Ted Fumia and Cliff Spiller who did an outstanding job of assisting with parking, especially with the vendor parking area. Tuesday evening was a traditional Pizza and beverage party, this year shared with the Funtimers! It was a GREAT event and special THANKS to Janice Cummings, Doris Palmer and Sue Swift for coordinating the entire evening and making it so much fun! 

The rest of the chapter members assisted with the coach parking Wednesday and Thursday. Everything went very smoothly! THANKS to Sally Rayburn and Carolyn Thomas along with some other GREAT helpers who did all the directing in the rows, and marking the site addresses for all the attendee coaches! 

Parking was not the only task for the Caloosas. 30 coaches attended the rally and since all the Florida State Winnie Gators officers are also Caloosa members, there were more opportunities for the chapter to pitch in where needed! HUGE thanks to Bill & Sue Fuss, Bill & Doris Palmer and Ed & Marlene Young for handling the Door Prize tables with excellence! They also pitched in to help sell tickets at the Charity Table. Wednesday evening the group enjoyed a relaxing dinner at Olive Garden, followed by a short business meeting.  

Thursday was Opening Ceremonies followed by lunch. Later in the day, the Caloosas had a HUGE spread at their designated tables for the annual Row Party!  Some of the Caloosas who are also “LUUZERS CLUB” members were seen tending bar – David Nobert, Ed Tyndall, Mike Sofarelli, Bud Swift, and Pete Wightman. 

Bob Coy lead the Pet Parade on Friday, along with the ladies who handled the registration for pets! Carol Mazuk, Sally Rayburn, Carolyn Thomas, got all the pets lined up and ready to parade! There were over 40 pets this year – luckily the vendors had to pick the winners and not the Caloosas!  

Friday night at dinner the Caloosas volunteered to help the Suncoast Winnies serve dinner and drinks! Donning their Caloosa aprons, they appeared with smiles on their faces to greet those hungry guests! An excellent dinner was prepared by Golden Corral Catering, featuring pasta, meatballs and all the side dishes for a wonderful meal! THANKS to all the servers, dinner was served to everyone in 17 minutes! Later in the evening all the Caloosas were seen on the dance floor enjoying the music of DJ Rob Vollmar for great entertainment!  

Saturday was another day filled with seminars, visits to the dealer displays, and making new friends. Saturday evening dinner tables were set by chapters for seating and the Caloosas expanded into 3 rows!  After a dinner by Golden Corral of Fried Chicken, Ham and all the side dishes, our participants were ready to settle back and enjoy the “Entertainment Revue” group as they took over the stage. They did 2 hours of the most energetic, exciting performance to delight our crowd! These young ladies range from age 5 to 18 and perform for audiences such as political events, sports events, etc. This was their 3rd appearance at our rally and one loses count how many costume changes they make and still do all the songs and dances! They received several standing ovations, richly deserved!  

Sunday morning dawned rather early and again, the Caloosa team was on hand to help serve Dunkin Donuts to everyone beginning about 7:30am!

As you can see from the list of tasks the Caloosas participated in for the entire week, we are a group of volunteers who will step up to do whatever needs to be done! This is about a team of people working together to make things happen and we are PROUD to be Caloosa Winnies!  A HUGE THANKS from the Florida State Winnie Gators officers (all Caloosa members!) – we could not have succeeded in making this rally the BEST EVER without your help and support – and always with a smile on your face and “What can I do to help” as your slogan! THANK YOU one and all for your devotion to our chapter!  

Submitted by

Nancy Miller